KATE HUSH: SHE BENDSSydney Cummings
Kate Hush’s journey with neon started in 2012 and she hasn’t looked back since.
“I can’t imagine doing what I do in any other medium, the color, the light, the interaction with the environment around it,” Kate said. “There’s a big attraction factor to it. Not to knock on other materials, but you put neon next to a photograph, no one’s looking at the photograph.”
Being a film buff, Kate’s artistic journey has most been influenced by actresses Kathleen Turner and Linda Fiorentino.
“I love going to the movies, I’m probably there almost every other week,” Kate said. “Cinema inspires a lot of my work. I do go outside too, mostly to look at dogs.”
Kate describes her neon style as “neon noir” consisting of neon vignettes of slick ladies.
“I lived in NYC for years and I certainly think a part of my inspiration was a reaction to the way women were depicted in the “peep show” style pieces sprinkled throughout the city. I noticed attention was only paid to certain parts of the form and the rest looked absolutely mutant like, and that is truly the case with almost all of them. I would walk around looking at their faces or feet, they looked like those parts came right out of a microwave on high.”
Despite a few people telling her she shouldn’t due to difficulty in processing, Kate then started to experiment with 6mm to capture a more graceful form and “finally do these ladies justice.”
“Abitech, as far as I know, is the only distributor in the country with practically every color of 6mm tubing available,” Kate said. “Most establishments you go to only have this size in clear. I do a lot of my neon artwork in 6mm diameter in order to capture details you simply can’t create in bigger sizes, and knowing I can probably find any color I need at Abitech is a relief.”
One of Kate’s favorite things about being in the She Bends community is how the group can network and share work with one another.
“I have someone who wants a piece made far from me, chances are I know someone from She Bends who can take on the project and vice versa.”
Her favorite piece, show below, was done in 2015 called “You Can Relax Around Me.”
“I love it because almost everyone who has spoken to me about it has a different interpretation of it. I like the mystery. It also has a very pleasing, almost calming pastel-like color scheme using all old Tecnolux stock. It’s one of my only pieces that doesn’t use jewel toned hues, and these serene colors depicting this particular scene creates an interesting visual.”
Kate hopes to share her knowledge along with transparency to future generations of benders.
“A lot of my contemporaries will agree that while we probably had it slightly better than the ones before us, at times it felt like a crowbar was needed in order to extract the correct information on how exactly to work in neon from some of the old guard. I don’t like that, and I can only see it killing the industry. I tell anyone with true interest in this field anything they ask me, there is nothing to protect, there is no pissing contest of ‘I know this and you don’t know’. It’s time to share.”
Kate hinted at working on a “top secret” printed art project with Kacie Lees – so stay tuned and follow her on Instagram @katehush or twitter @kate.
Getting back to some of her original depictions of neon artwork in digital form, Kate’s about to release a series of NFTs called Hotel Hush. They’ll be available on niftygateway.com soon.